Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide contains 172 colorful
pages of facts, photos, features, and fun, including more
than 50 individual parade profiles and maps. The award-winning
magazine includes a history of the event; answers to the
25 most frequently asked questions; an illustrated glossary
of Mardi Gras terms; and articles on New Orleans personalities,
traditions and happenings. For more than three decades,
the city's top writers and photographers have worked together
to create a publication that has achieved genuine collectible
status. With more than two million copies sold, Arthur
Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide is recognized as the
program to the event.
Gras 2017 is February 28, 2017!
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IT’S CARNIVAL TIME!
Posted: January 04, 2017
On Friday look for me live on Fox 8 in studio during the 8 AM morning show, and during the 4 PM and 5 PM newscasts at the start of the Phunny Phorty Phellows parade at the Willow Street car barn.
I’ll also be live on FaceBook with @The New Orleans Advocate at the Carnival kickoff at Mardi Gras World (9:50 a.m.) and the annual PPP streetcar ride (6:30 p.m.). Follow along for behind-the-scenes coverage!
TWELFTH NIGHT PREVIEW
In addition to the very private ball of the TWELFTH NIGHT REVELERS, several public events mark the official opening of the Carnival Season-King's Day- January 6.
PizzaNola at 141 West Harrison Avenue is hosting a King Cake Party 7-9 AM with live music from Benny Grunch and the Bunch, free breakfast from BAWK, coffee from Coast Roast, and the grand arrival of the King Cake from Dong Phuong Bakery.
At 10 AM at Mardi Gras World, MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU, along with officials from all 34 Orleans Parish parading krewes, will kick off the Carnival season with a press conference and king cake cutting ceremony. The Mayor will be presented official posters from Rex and Zulu, and the St. Aug Marching 100 will perform.
The PHUNNY PHORTY PHELLOWS roll along the St. Charles line in a vintage green Perley Thomas streetcar on Friday, January 6, at 7 P.M., accompanied by the Storyville Stompers Brass Band. The ride is scheduled to run from the Willow Street Car Barn, just off South Carrollton Avenue, and go all the way downtown to Canal Street and back.
On that same Twelfth Night evening, also at 7 PM, the JOAN OF ARC walking parade will begin in the French Quarter at Toulouse and Decatur, ending at Washington Artillery Park, just across from Jackson Square. The procession includes krewe members in medieval costumes and armor, horse- back riders, dance troupes and angels, all recounting the story of the saint’s brief but eventful life.
Also on Twelfth Night, the new "NOT SO SECRET SOCIETY OF THE ELYSIAN FIELDS" rolls at 7:30 PM on the new Rampart-St. Claude line, with King Charles Rogers reigning. They will leave the Elysian Fields Station at Elysian Fields and St. Claude, and go to Union Station and back again. Riding as special guest will be the perennial symbol of the season, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, who will also perform at the ball, joining the Davis Rogan Band for dancing and dining in the Back Room at Buffa’s following the street car ride.
The KREWE OF STARS hosts the Twelfth Night Mardi Gras Extravaganza and the grand opening of the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 7-10 PM at 1010 Conti in the French Quarter.
The following evening, Saturday, January 7, on the Northshore in downtown Covington, the ST. JOHN’S FOOLS OF MISRULE will march at 6 PM down E. Lockwood Street to the Covington Trailhead. Accompanied by the Big Fun Jazz Band, the costumed maskers will include flambeaux carriers and fire breathers and will also celebrate the group’s favorite fermented beverage, beer. www.foolsofmisrule.com.
On January 12, 2017, 7 PM, at the NEW ORLEANS ART CENTER, 3330 St. Claude Avenue, a special new event will be staged-an art installation imagining an interaction between Alexander the Great and the Carnival culture of New Orleans with a preview party, (black tie, toga or costume), honoring the Royalty of the Courts of the Krewes and marching clubs, primarily of Downtown New Orleans, and benefiting the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. (The Creative Alliance is a non-profit benefitting local artists.) Tickets are $35 in advance or $50 at the door, www.eventbrite.com/e/alexander-the-great-visits-new-orleans-tickets-29657450232
Happy New Year!
Posted: January 01, 2017
Now let real the celebration begin-It’s Carnival Time!
I will soon post my annual Twelfth Night preview.
The 2017 Mardi Gras Guide began distribution on December 21 and all pre-orders have been mailed. We try to ship all PayPal orders the same day they are received and single copies are shipped via first class mail
Within the next ten days, our new MARDI GRAS GUIDE APP will launch. Available on iPhone and GooglePlay for only 99 cents, the 2017 App will allow Mardi Gras fans to bring the magazine to the parades on their tablets and smart phones. The new App includes up-the-the-minute updates and also provides live links to nearly 100 krewes and advertisers.
MARDI GRAS NEWS
Posted: September 22, 2016
This year's annual Krewes for KOPs Gala has taken on a new identity. It is now the Krewes for Karnival's First Responders, and will benefit not only the NOPD, but the NOFD and NOEMS, too.
The Gala this year will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Fulton Alley Lanes, 600 Fulton Street, NOLA, 70130. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 day of the event. They will have beer, wine, food, live music and bowling! http://krewesforkarnival.com/about-us/
NEW CARNIVAL CLUB
A new Mardi Gras organization, tie "Krewe of Stars," held a press conference this week and announced the following:
KREWE OF STARS www.KreweOfStars.com
BALL FEB. 18, 2017 JEFFERSON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
KING DENNIS ASSAF
QUEEN ANGELA HILL
GRAND DUCHESS BECKY ALLEN
CAPTAIN CARL MACK
Impresario and entertainer Marshall Harris with musician, costumer and talent agent Carl Mack have created an all-new Mardi Gras Krewe that will celebrate, showcase and support the New Orleans performing arts community throughout the year. All involved in the entertainment field, including actors, singers, dancers, musicians, costume designers, hairdressers, make-up artists, set designers, acrobats, burlesque artists, directors, producers, cabaret singers, comedians, television & radio personalities, lighting designers, sound techs, photographers, and all those who support them it are encouraged to become members.
Hermes Beyond the Parade Foundation (Hermes BTP) hosted members of the New Orleans Police Department on September 9 with a luncheon at the Hermes den.
Hermes BTP and NOPJF board member Tom Winingder said "We are thrilled to try and do something nice for our police officers after a very difficult summer. Although it is a small gesture it allows Hermes BTP and the Police and Justice Foundation to say thank you to NOPD for their service to our community."
Hermes BTP is primarily supported by the 700+ members of the Hermes carnival organization. Members hail from professions ranging from law and medicine to commerce and trade who live and work within the community.
In addition to supporting first responders, Hermes BTP also is working on long-term solutions that address our region's ongoing struggles with violent crime. Early childhood education, workforce development and mentorship opportunities are areas of particular interest to the organization.
ENDYMION SUPER STARS
The Krewe of Endymion has announced its entertainment lineup for its February 25, 2017 Extravaganza at the Superdome.
Kiss, FloRida, KC & the Sunshine Band will headline the event, along with Dian Diaz, Groovy 7, and the Wise Guys. For tickets, call 504-736-0160
SIX MONTHS UNTIL FAT TUESDAY
Posted: August 28, 2016
Last night the KREWE OF OAK staged its annual "Half-Way to Mardi Gras" parade uptown-their largest ever, according to first-hand reports. To be picky, Fat Tuesday is actually six months from today.
The 2017 Carnival season is already predicted to be an interesting one.
Will the NBA ALL-STAR game on "Carrollton Sunday" have an affect on the parades that day? How can it not? The 20 krewes that roll that weekend are already having difficulty finding hotel rooms for their guests and out-of-town riders. Limos, which traditionally provide transportation for each parade’s royalty, may also be in short supply. And what about police escorts?
There is still some confusion over the new Louisiana sales tax rules as they apply to Mardi Gras krewes.
Clubs with a large contingent of riders from the Greater Baton Rouge area could see a drop in ridership in 2017 because of the devastating floods of March and August.
NEWS FROM THE CAPTAINS
We asked the captains from every parading krewe for news this summer, but most had nothing to report.
From NOMTOC: The krewe is getting ready to roll its largest parade ever with a 50% increase in riders on 29 floats!!!
From KING ARTHUR: This little Krewe that was started by the 17-year-old Captain is now celebrating its 40th Anniversary and will be parading with nearly 1200 riders with a 1970s theme, Right Back Where We Started. The Krewe has turned out to be the most diverse Krewe in the city. It will be led by King Arthur long-term officer, Mr. John Wambsgans, King Arthur XL; and by Mrs. Julie Lea, Queen Guinevere XL, the Captain of Nyx, the largest Female Krewe in New Orleans history.
From IRIS: We have lots of surprises in store for this 100th year including a coffee table book being published by Arthur Hardy Enterprises, LLC and our 100th year poster painted by Terrance Osborne!!!
From ISIS: This year is a big one for us as we celebrate our 45th anniversary with "Isis Rocks the 45!" Also going with the new trend of odd-shaped doubloons, we will have 2 doubloons this year shaped like records.
JEFFERSON PARISH NEWS
The CORPS DE NAPOLEON returns to its regular spot on the parade calendar on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday.
Plans for adjusting the standard Metairie parade route appear to be on hold.
Donna Hahn Russo has replaced Sean Burke as Citizens Affairs Director whose office handles all Mardi Gras related activities.
Will PANDORA return for its second year, thus avoiding the "Metairie Lundi Gras Jinx" that has seemingly plagued that evening? (Remember Zeus, Hera, and Atlantis?)
Might the Bonnabel loop finally be eliminated?
Will construction in the back of the Clearview Shopping Center move all parades to a different starting point (perhaps Lafreniere Park or Zephyrs stadium) in 2018?
PETE FOUNTAIN'S HALF FAST WALKING CLUB will continue in his honor.
The twice-tried pre-parade Concert on the Square on the first weekend of the parade season will not return.
The Municipal Auditorium remains shuttered awaiting repairs. Is there any hope it might return in 2018? How many krewes would stage their balls there? In 1973, some 68 balls were held at the grand old building.
Confusion-the official parade calendar from the NOPD shows the first Sunday parades order as FEMME FATALE, CARROLLTON, KING ARTHUR, ALLA,but the Captain of ALLA was told his parade would roll first at 10 AM. Nothing is official until the City Council blesses the final schedule at its November meeting.
The KREWE OF CLAUDE will not parade in 2017.
The KREWES OF PERSEUS and TITANS have a new float builder (Phil Fricano), as does ORIGINAL ORPHEUS (Da Floats).
The KREWE OF EVE has a new captain.
SLIDELL PARADE CALENDAR
FEB 11 POSEIDON
FEB 11 MONA LISA & MOON PIE
FEB 12 SLIDELLIANS
FEB 12 PERSEUS
FEB 18 KREWE DE PAWS
KREWE OF TITANS
FEB 19 KREWE OF DIONYSUS
FEB 24 KREWE OF SELENE
Mardi Gras 2016 Overview
Posted: February 17, 2016
My media schedule does not allow me to see as many parades as I would like, so my review of the season is based upon my own observations, plus that of a handful of trusted Mardi Gras veterans. Parading krewe captains were also polled for their opinions.
THE GOOD NEWS
In general Mardi Gras has never been healthier.
We have fewer parades than pre-Katrina, but better ones.
I cannot recall a parade season where not a single parade experienced rain but that was the case this year. The only weather-related issue was high winds on Lundi Gras night.
Parade attendance was solid, but not record setting. Airport traffic however, did set a record, while hotel occupancy was slightly down, typical when Fat Tuesday falls early. The number of floats in Orleans Parish totaled 819, an-all-time high.
There was great concern in law enforcement circles about possible terror-related incidents this year, which, fortunately did not materialize.
The return of Gallier Hall as a Carnival venue was a plus this year.
Two of the season's most anticipated parades did not disappoint-Endymion's 50th anniversary procession, and the Nyx parade, which now features more than 2,200 riders.
While the West Bank lost the Grela parade, for the first time in years, there was growth in the number of parades in Metairie and in St. Tammany Parish. Clearly the most impressive debut was made in Slidell by the Krewe of Poseidon, whose parade was easily up to the standards of most New Orleans parades.
Parade captains in Jefferson Parish are hopeful that new Parish President Mike Yenni will work to improve conditions in Metairie.
Napoleon's move to the first Sunday enhanced the Family Gras celebration.
The undermanned NOPD did a terrific job handling 35 parades, with better pacing this year.
There were fewer reported incidents of "throw-backs" this year.
The interest in specialty throws continues, as interest in plain beads, cups, and doubloons wanes. Some krewes such as Rex tossed float-specific pillows, beads, and cups.
With the exception of Endymion, which announced in September that Stephen Tyler and Pitbull would headline their post-parade Extravaganza, celebrity announcements were very late. Bacchus's first black King, local actor Anthony Mackie, was a big hit with the crowd.
The Krewe of Argus saluted Fox 8 retiring weatherman Bob Breck as the club's grand marshal in 2016. New Orleans resident, Solange Knowles, rode as Honorary Muse for the 2016 parade, while Orpheus featured Nathan Fillion.
For the first week, parade viewers had been able to stand on the tiny space on the neutral ground side between the curb and the construction site fencing on Napoleon Avenue between Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue. For safety reasons, the entire area was off limits, pushing those crowds to the "sidewalk side" on the second weekend.
Because of the fire that destroyed a building the 1000 block of Canal Street two weeks ago, Endymion, Zulu, and the truck parades had to cross Canal Street to avoid that block.
There was a great amount of confusion about the starting point for Iris, which eventually began at Carondolet and Napoleon.
It was nice to see an aging Pete Fountain riding in his Half-Fast Walking Club parade.
The Krewe of Proteus presented a rider-less horse in its parade, a salute to recently deceased former Captain Beau Bassich.
The Mardi Gras Indians appeared in several parades, and the Jefferson City Buzzards led the Caesar parade in Metairie.
This parade season was not without its issues. The first Sunday's schedule of four parades uptown simply does not work if all wish to parade during the day. Some Alla riders, who boarded their floats at 11 AM for a 1 PM start, weren't in the disband area until 9:30 PM. Clearly one parade needs to add lights to its floats and parade at night. And seniority would be the fairest way to select the parade that moves.
NOMTOC should not be rushed through its route in Algiers. So brisk was the pace that their popular walking club, the Jugmen, had to pull out.
Parade ladders are not being placed six feet back as mandated.
Once again there was confusion at the end of the route for the truck parades of Elks Orleanians and Crescent City, which were forced to travel to the east when many intended to go west.
A few captains observed that parades in New Orleans received a disproportionate amount of media coverage.
The roping off of neutral ground areas and the erection of mini "tent cities" continue to be a problem, as does the participation of underage marchers.
The space between Lee Circle and Gallier Hall is almost totally occupied by reviewing stands, leaving very little room for parade viewing on the street.
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?
Several people report that on triple-header parade nights or with exceptionally long single parades, many parade viewers abandon the route before the parade is half way over. Float riders complain that there is no one to throw to. Bands placed near the end of the parades are getting back to school early in the morning. Something has to be done to address this situation.
Fat Tuesday is later-February 28.
We have already starting making our plans.
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